GEORGETOWN, March 28 – WWF-Malaysia, the national consen ation organisation, collaborated rt’ith the State Government of Penang to raise public awareness of global rvarming and promote a low-carbon lifestyle in conjunction rtith Earth Hour zor5 today. YB Chow Kon Yeow, Penang State EXCO for Local Government, Traffic Management, and Flood Mitigation, as present to flag off as well as participate in WWF-Malaysia’s three- kilometre Night Walk from Lebuh Lintang to Jalan Magazine. More than r5oo people turned up to demonstrate their commitment to tire environment. The event was spoltsored by HGST Technologies Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a Western Digital Company.
Individuals, businesses, governments and communities are invited to turn off their lights for one hour on Saturday, zB March zor5 at B.3oprr (local time) to shorn, their support for enviLonmentally sustainable action.”Earth Hour is not just about the turning the lights off for an hour annually. The Earth Hour global environmental movement u,as initiated by WWF in zoom to inspire solutions and actions beyond the hour to stop climate change – alteration of the climate patterns in terms of temperature and rainfall largely caused by human activities. This is the meaning behind the 6o+ logo for Earth Hour,” said Dato’ Dr Dionysius S.K. Sharma, WWF-Malaysia Executive Director/CEO.
The State Government of Penang has pledged to participate in WWF’s Earth Hour City Challenge (EHCC) 2o16. EHCC is a year-long competition among cities norldwide to promote renewable energy and prepare for climate change. With George Torvn being a UNESCO heritage city, preserving and maintaining the current heritage map and skyline must work hand in hand with caring for the environment for it to move to’it ards being a sustainable city.
“We are very heartened by the State Government’s commitment to make Penang a more sustainable island, and among one of the 4o UNESCO World Heritage Sites participating in Earth Hour Worldwide. Saving our lirring planet is every individual’s responsibility. A simple act such as switching off the lights and fans when you leave the house or office rvill help lorver consumption of energy, and therefore reduce carbon emissions in energy generation and, ultimately lessen the unwanted impact of global warming,” he stressed.
While WWF-Malaysia undertakes biodiversity conservation projects to build resilience of the ecosystems, governments and businesses are urged to complement by moving towards more sustainable practices and the public by adopting less carbon intensive lifestyles. Around the rvorld, WWF works with various parties to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for’ the impacts of climate change. This is an important component in conservation to prevent further habitat and ecosystem services losses.
WWF-Malaysia (World Wide Fund for Nature-Malaysia) was established in Malaysia in 1972. It currently, runs more than 9o projects covering a diverse range of environmental conservation and protection work, from saving endangered speeies such as tigers and turtles, to protecting our highland forests, rivers and seas. The national consen,ation organisation also undertakes environmental education and advocacy to achieve its conservation goals.
Penang is the second smallest Malaysian state after Perlis and it possesses most of small island characteristics. Even though it is not isolated, Penang Island itself is still exposed to climate change as well as natural and environmental disasters. Its high population density leads to increased pressure on limited resources; overuse of resources; relatively small watersheds and threatened supplies of fresh water; costly public administration and infrastructure. Therefore, it is important to build momentum and urgency to protect the island in the face of growing risks and vulnerabilities.
Climate change is foremost among these challenges as global warming causes global sea levels to rise. The global sea level has risen at an increased rate of about 1cl to 25 cm over the last 1oo years, which is projected to be even greater this century. Climate change plays an important role in shaping the natural ecosystems and this will have an impact on the economy and social well-being. Climate change has an impact on many sectors and this includes food production and water security.
The world is experiencing extreme weather patterns and Malaysia is not spared. This is evident from the recent floods, which is one of the worst in the country’s history and prolonged periods with hotter and drier weather – all of which has impacts on our daily life and economy solutions. Cities can exploit positive or struggle with negative ones. Therefore it is important for cities to be more sustainable, and timely for Penang to be the driver of change by taking the lead.
Reducing carbon emission needs to be tackled using a holistic approach and governments, businesses and people need to work together to combat climate change. Events such as Earth Hour not only create awareness on the importance of reducing our carbon footprint but also serve to remind us how important the natural ecosystem is to us. I believe Earth Hour will be an excellent opportunity to raise a call for a greater understanding and awareness on climate change, an opportunity for everyone to realise the responsibility to care for the environment. It is a long and continuous journey. Let us take the first step now. Let’s all bring the beautiful coastline back to this Pearl island.